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The Personal Stories Behind the Meningitis Outbreak

As readers know, a mass fungal meningitis outbreak has been sweeping across half of the country. Facilities in twenty three states received contaminated vials of a spinal steroid injection, with hundreds already having been infected, 24 killed, and thousands more waiting for confirmation that they have or have not developed meningitis as a result of their injection. It is a terribly tragic situation, and it is critical that all of us pay attention to the individual stories at the heart of the ordeal.

For example, MyDesert.com reported on one story involving a family that has been decimated as a result of this incident. According to the report, a husband a wife both recieved the contaminated injections–usually given for back pain. They did not have the shot at the same time, however. The wife had hers in August and the husband about a month later in mid-September. They obviously had no idea at the time, but those shots would change their lives and that of their family forever.

Only a few days after the husband had his shot, the wife began to feel sick and showing signs of the meningitis. Only September 22nd she suffered one the most serious consequences associated with the condition–a stroke in her brainstem. The stroke proved damaging, and the woman passed away about a week later. Experts explain that the vast majority of the deaths connected to the outbreak thus far occur in that matter, from stroke complications.

Eventually the family learned of the spinal seroid contamination and it became apparent that their mother was likely a victim of the outbreak. Attention immediately turned to the father who also had the injection. On October 17th he underwent a spinal tap test to determine if he developed the disease as well. The results of that initial test were negative–he did not seem to have developed the fungal meningitis. But, there is one quirk to this form of meningitis–it has a long incubation period. That means that it may lie dormant for weeks or even months before manifesting itself into signs that medical professionals would notice.

Sadly, that appears to be what happened in this man’s case. Last weekend he began feeling ill. It wasn’t long before he was showing the signs clearly associated with meningitis: neck pain, headaches, sensitivity to light, and problems with speech. He immediately checked himself into a hospital. A few more tests are stil being run to identify the exact problem, but he is now receiving strong anti-fungal treatments.

The man’s daughter reports that, all things considered, the man is trying to remain upbeat. He is joking with nurses and trying to remain as postive as possible as he battles this condition which took his wife’s life less than a month ago.

Of course, this husband and wife are not alone in being affected by the situation. They obviously have a network of close family members and friends who are also dealing with the ordeal which has already taken so much from them. And this represents just two of the hundreds of cases already identified across the country. When the individual heartache in each case is identified and then multiplied by the total affected, the real cost of this contamination can be better understood.

Legal accountability is imperative in situations like this one where such extreme loss is faced by so many as a result of preventable errors at a business. All those affected in Illinois should get in touch with the meningitis outbreak lawyers at our firm to see how we can assist.

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